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25 and Under: Fiction Hardcover – May, 1997

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In keeping with the moral vision of psychiatrist, author, and DoubleTake co-founder Robert Coles, all of these stories focus on an awakening or transformation and most end on a healing note. It is unlikely that this new generation of writers will be distinguished by their optimism, however?most great practitioners of the short form take an appropriately dim view of human nature. That said, editors Ketchin and Giordano have certainly struck a vein of young talent. Aaron Cohen's wild helicopter ride over the Mississippi, "This Is Not a Joke Like Vietnam," takes its cue from noted pessimist Mark Twain. Thirteen-year-old Ryan has is heading downriver on a raft, fleeing his heroin-addicted father, who, with a war buddy and a bad case of withdrawal, sets off after him in a dilapidated chopper. In Tim Vanech's "White Flight," a teenager who witnesses a shooting in his public school demands to be sent to the prep school most of his friends attend. His father's refusal has more to do with his own idealism than with concern for his son's safety. The dueling voices brilliantly depict a generational collision of ethics, but here the child is weary and cynical and the parent is hoping against hope. This showcase of new authors is an exciting counterpoint to the more staid, seasoned annuals like O'Henry, Pushcart, and Best Short Stories. Here's hoping it's a yearly event.?Adam Mazmanian, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Generational anthologies have proven themselves in the marketplace (if not among critics) as an effective way to introduce new talent, and this collection, put together by editors associated with the magazine DoubleTake, is no exception--the young writers here run the gamut from inept to elegant. The editors are so aware that their greatest find is Jason Brown that they include two of his stories among the 15--everyone else is represented by just one. Brown opens the volume with ``The Dog Lover,'' the story of a recovering junkie who can't bring himself to shoot his dying dog, as he is urged to do by his father, a blind Vietnam vet whose wife committed suicide. Despite the relentlessly bleak details, it's an uplifting piece about faith and fathers, and mirrors its companion ``Animal Stories'' (which closes the collection), about a young man's reflections on his dying mother's life and her refusal to accept treatment for her cancer. Religion and belief figure in many stories here, as do heroin, alcoholism, and madness. ``Indian Summer Sunday,'' by Creston Lea, brings all of it together in a tale of a minister's apostasy and his late-night drunk-driving before Sunday services. It's a far more convincing narrative than ``Asylum,'' a mental patient's ramblings. ``White Flight,'' by Tim Vanech, poses a social problem with clarity and intelligence, while ``Like a Crossing Guard,'' also a social study of sorts, never finds focus for its tale set at a juvenile detention center. Troubled families naturally figure in a number of pieces: an alcoholic mother in ``Flamingo,'' a feuding brood in ``Waiting Game,'' etc. ``Manna Walking,'' a short and moving vignette, concerns an Indian woman on the way home from the A&P who finds redemption and God's love in an ordinary event. Even if Brown is the only clearly distinctive new voice here, it's still a good introduction to young writers learning their craft. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 227 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (May 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393041204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393041200
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,962,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I found 25 and Under/Fiction to be a breath of fresh air. I love reading books of short fiction, but too often, the books are filled with authors that are already well established. This book is great, because it's filled with stories that are written by mostly unknown authors. My favorite story was "Flamingo." The mother in that story (she was an alcoholic) was very well written, and portrayed with a sense of brutal honesty. Go out and buy 25 & Under/Fiction. You won't be sorry.
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By A Customer on March 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
... if these are the new voices of American literature. Jason Brown is the only writer that seems promising, and is the only one with two stories in this compilation. His two stories are not great, but they show good craft. From other authors, "Like a Crossing Guard" is an interesting piece, but it does not completely satisfy. Such is the case with "White Flight", a piece dealing with school shootings. Problem with most stories in this collection is that they suffer from the same problems that plague recent short story collections from even well-known American writers. Lack of plot. And abrupt endings. We are witnesses to small events in some characters' lives, but these events never serve to shed light on the characters or the reader. I know this is a popular thing to do with short stories nowadays, but, personally, I find it a waste of my time. Call me old-fashioned if you want, but I much rather prefer the tales of old in which there was a clearly defined beginning, middle and end that explored a specific conflict. To me, that's the sort of stories that last generations. The ones that strike a chord in the reader. Those that not only comment on our society, but make a statement about it. Those that portray a specific aspect of humanity. Those that can do the above but entertain, too. Just compare these stories or most modern stories with the classics compiled in short anthology collections from all time and I'm sure you'll understand what I mean.
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